word of mouth: 2019 Jan/Feb issue
gold medal plates
On November 2, winter just had to make its big “I’m Here!” statement and fingers, toes, eyes, arms, legs were crossed that everyone would make it – the judges, the competitors, the athletes – and they did! The usual amazing food from our great chefs. The bronze medal went to Dave Bohati, Teatro, who presented a modern take on a terrine whose heart was a steelhead trout. It was a delicious and intricate web of flavours and textures. Matthias Fong, River Café, took silver with a dish that was almost entirely vegetarian and reflected his enthusiasm for locavore dining. The gold medal – a unanimous decision from the judges and a roar of joy from the crowd of 600 – went to chef Blake Flann of Blake, in Canmore. His dish acknowledged the coming winter Olympiad in South Korea with a gochujang laquered pork belly, the surface crisply crusted with the sweet heat of the glaze, the flesh and fat inside succulent, melting and packed with flavour, and prawn paper with peanut, ramen, pickled prawn and egg yolk. A winning blend of presentation, textures and flavour! And their dishes all married well with their chosen wines, lots of good wines chosen. Chef Kenny Kaechele, Workshop Kitchen & Culture, paired his dish with a Black Market wine! We love Black Market wines. We love the Gold Medal Plates food because it’s so adventurous and interesting. (Your editor, Kathy Richardier, is normally a judge, but missed it this year due to a bad cold.) Blake Flann will be heading to Kelowna February 2 and 3 to compete with Canada’s other GMP champion chefs at the Canadian Culinary Championships to determine who is the best of the best!
a winning drink
Deane House bartender Jeff Savage took 1st place in the recent Bacardi Legacy Regional Cocktail competition with his cocktail A Love Remembered. The next round is in Miami in February. The drink was inspired by the love between Ava Gardner and Ernest Hemingway and the story that after she swam naked in his pool, he refused to change the water. Drop into the Deane House and try one, or make your own…
- 2 oz. Bacardi Superior rum
- 1/2 oz. Martini Bianco
- 1/4 oz. Maraschino Liqueur
- a bar spoon of citric and malic acid solution (available at health food stores and most large grocery stores)
- 2 dashes Scrappy’s Grapefruit Bitters
- Combine all ingredients with ice in a mixing glass and stir to dilute. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and express a fresh lime zest over the drink.
Karen Kho and Dave Sturies, who used to make their great artisan charcuterie and sausages, meat pies underneath UNA Takeaway, have now set up their café and deli – Empire Provisions — where Cured Deli used to be on Elbow Drive at Heritage Drive. Look for delicious charcuterie, sausages, a cheese counter focused on Canadian cheeses, meat pies and a unique selection of house-made provisions. And you can enjoy everything at the café that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. We were at a media lunch recently and we can tell you that you will eat very well here, and the menu includes products from other local artisans with a keen eye on quality and sustainability. So take yourself to 8409 Elbow Dr. SW, lots of parking, and enjoy a great meal or take it home for dinner, or do both, can’t go wrong.
Vancouver aquarium’s Ocean Wise chowder chowdown was, as always, a most delicious evening of chowing down on our talented Calgary chefs’ best recipes for sustainable chowders. It was a really interesting chowder event, and the winner, River Café’s chef Matthias Fong’s chowder, was totally different from anyone else’s, it was cool rather than hot, a Manhattan style. We liked it a lot but preferred the hot chowders. Our fave was Raw Bar’s Tom Yum Chowder, and it was a winner, too. It’s always interesting to see what chefs come up with on the chowder front. All proceeds benefitted the Ocean Wise seafood program. The three winners, L-R: Jamie Harling, Deane House, Matthias Fong, River Café and Peter Paiva, Raw Bar at Hotel Arts. And our local craft beer accompanied the chowder – totally tasty it was! (Photo by Marnie Burkhart)
Marilou and Alexandre Champagne published Three Times a Day some years ago when Marilou, the Quebec pop sensation, decided she needed to heal her anorexia through food. Now they’ve published this new book, 3 Times a Day, Simple & Stylish (House of Anansi Press, $34.95, hard cover) featuring more than 100 new recipes themed on categories such as Indulgence, Entertaining, Quick & Easy, Gluten Free, Lactose Free, Vegetarian, His Choice and more. A beautiful book full of good recipes and beautiful photographs.
Another good book filled with good recipes and beautiful photographs from Aimée Wimbush-Bourque, The Simple Bites Kitchen, nourishing whole food recipes for every day (Penguin Random House Canada, $32, paper cover). The author has an award-winning blog called Simple Bites. She has turned it into a great family cookbook. Check out the delish recipe for Quick Crustless Ham and Cheese Quiche, for example. We have! And there are good recipes for basics, like home-made buttermilk and ricotta, called Lighter Ricotta. Good stuff in this book.